Your words

Your words are like the air
seemingly insubstantial
there in the moment
and then gone
without words though
how would we give flight
to our thoughts

Here your words are written down
and not just here
for I re-write them
in my heart
I horde them
garner them
use them to fill my small dinghy
so I can set sail once more

Your words help to keep me afloat
in the choppy seas
that surround the coastline
of my life
they give me courage
to set a course
beyond the safe harbour
outside of the inland waters

Your words are like an extra hand
helping me to steady the tiller
lending strength and more
they help me to fashion a purpose
your re-assuring presence
is a source of warmth
when colder winds blow
a voice in the silent void

Your words are like laughter
in the fine times
filling the sails
spinning us around
so that we can set off
in joyful pursuit
of the moon
shining low on the horizon

Your words are soaked in compassion
they undo an essential tightness in me
causing this sense of unravelling
and release
however often it feels
that I am alone in my thoughts
you come alongside me
with your words


Mutual exclusivity is at the heart of some of the most difficult choices we face in life. Or so it seems to me. And why? Because of rules. Apparently we can't have our cake and eat it too. That's the rule.

Up until a couple of years ago I never questioned the direction in which my moral compass pointed. I trusted that I would know right from wrong and mostly do right as a result of this knowledge.

Mostly. No one is perfect.

Have you ever been in a situation where you knew you were doing wrong even when it felt completely right? It's like being turned inside out. Stuff you barely knew you were suppressing inside yourself becomes visible. By demanding consideration this has the potential to be life changing. If you let it.

But it doesn't have to be. It can be that I know these things and yet still choose not to act upon them. I could follow the rules. Like I usually do (mostly).

Rules are important. Without them we have chaos. Chaos is bad. Right? Maybe it's only some kinds of chaos that are bad. Maybe I think it's bad because of my past. I haven't re-evaluated my assumptions about chaos since they were first formed. Maybe bad is meaningless. A simple construct formed for simple minds like mine. Or maybe chaos is good.

Chaotic behaviour scares me. Especially my own.

Rules have helped keep me safe. If I can just work out what they are then I can follow them. If I follow them well enough then I steer clear of the worst kinds of trouble. Right? I can see how infantile that thought process is. I recognise the girl who thought that ... who thinks that still.

Rules are my magnetic north pole. Everything makes at least some kind of sense to me if I know enough about the rules. Without them I am not sure ... of anything.

The funny thing about breaking things down so you can think about them in isolation is that in so doing you take at least some of the rules out of the equation altogether. It's not like I don't understand that. But putting the pieces back together involves seeing them in context ... as a whole. How do you do that without rules? Is there meaning without rules?

If I break the rules ...

It's like this brick wall in my mind slams against that thought. Almost everything in me wants to stick to the rules.

Except my heart.

Unless we re-evaluate things then we will carry on thinking of them in the same way we always did.

Enough thinking for today I think.

Except to say this. I am richly blessed in my blogging friends. It is clear to me that individually you have wisdom beyond my imagining. Taken collectively it is quite extraordinary. I so appreciate those of you who take the time to read and comment. The help this has given me defies description.

Thank you. xx Jos

More ponderings

What is real and what unreal. How do you tell the difference. How do you trust what your heart is telling you if your head is yelling a different message entirely. And what if a large part of your heart wants to believe what your head is telling you anyway? Because it's easier. Simpler.

But is it truthful?

Can a heart be in two minds?

To put these questions seems like an academic exercise and yet the answers have much bearing on my current state of mind. I am feeling increasingly unsettled in my life just now. Unhappy and I'm trying to work out why ... but in typical fashion I am doing so whilst trying to maintain the status quo at home which feels deceitful in the most fundamental way.

And yet if I don't know what I truly want then how can I do otherwise.

It's like I keep creeping towards the edge of this enormous chasm knowing that I may have to find my way across but without the faintest idea what lies either within it or beyond it. Which seems totally ridiculous really. Even to me.

Why don't I just shut these thoughts down and concentrate on what's at hand. Living my life in much the same was as ever before. With Trev none the wiser and mostly unscathed by the vagaries of my heart.

I could do that.

Even sitting down and discussing our present "difficulties" over the weekend resulted in the most horrendous scenes. Screaming at me "What do you want? What do I want? Christ alive can't we just get on with it without all this carry on about feelings and all that shit?" Slam dunk. Back to the books. Silence. Simmering silence followed by an absense of some two weeks now. Time to re-group.

I can hardly imagine what would occur if I were to ponder aloud as I am able to do here though. I think it would be fair to say that it's not something to be entered into lightly. So I don't.

I feel the need to explore these feelings but I'm not sure how to do so without causing harm or deceit. Squaring the circle ... is life ever easy? It's as easy as you want to make it. I know the sense in that point of view.

My heart is telling me that the reason I can't suppress these other feelings is because they are real. Valid. That even though they started from events that happened in a state of unreality they have solidified over time rather than vapourised as they should have done with a more distant perspective. That if they weren't real I wouldn't keep returning to them, turning them over in my mind as if hoping to find a new way to diminish them. Put the lid back on this Pandora's box.

My head is telling me that experiences gone through whilst in the fug of drinking are unreal and therefore attaching the weight of reality to them is an exercise in self-delusion. That my own inexperience is at the root of why I am still ... over two years on ... giving this a weight it really should never have had. I think this may well be true but how can I be sure? Inexperience is self-limiting in it's effect.

One way to test this hypothesis is to repeat the experience but with a clear head. Which I can't do so even thinking about it is pointless.

Why can't I?

There are so many reasons. Even putting aside the question of right and wrong ... of re-crossing the boundary of loving faithfulness within marriage (which I'm not for one second going to attempt to justify) am I the kind of person that can use another without having regard for them?

No, I don't believe I am.

But doesn't that pre-suppose that the other has much the same set of core values as I do? How likely is that? How relevant is that? To go against my own core values pre-supposes that I think it's worth it to find out something I probably already know. And that is that life is not simple. That decisions are an active choice of cutting off one possibility in favour of another.

Funny thing is I thought I'd already settled this decision some while ago. Shut off from one possibility in favour of the other. My heart refuses to let my mind have it's way on this. It demands it's right of appeal.

I want

I want a drink
not a skinful
but a wine rack full
and I've walked up to it
looked at my old foes
rows of shiny bottles
of liquid magic carpet
that could fly me away
from everything here

I want an escape
from this moment
to a whole new lifetime
so I can relearn
what it means to be me
and how to accept it
perhaps I can walk there
or wade in and swim
down this river of tears

I want to know
where there is
what there looks like
whether I will be happier
in the land of there
altered reality
seems far preferable
to having to bear
not believing in there

I want something more
without a clue
what it looks like
and so how
can I describe it to you
and how can I hope
for your understanding
when I don't understand
any of this either

Shall we instead
sit on the magic carpet
and hold one another
in a last bid
to reach inside the other
to find what was once
more than enough
or shall I hold your hand
and then let it go

I want to tear myself in two
that's what I want
so I can have it all
except then
I would only be part
of the whole
there seems little point
in crying
over half measures

Risks ... why is it always about risks?

This weekend my gentle man and I are going to have a talk. The kind where we are both adult and have some decisions to make about ... crikey well about everything really. Things have never been quite this bad I guess . Or more accurately, we've never been in a place where we both acknowledge this fact.

Two weeks ago Trevor told me that he thought "everything" was falling apart. My initial response was not helpful. I said "Jeezusssss, you only just noticed?" ... or words to that effect. I'm not proud of my reaction. It's characteristic of what happens when I feel suddenly and unexpectedly under threat when already feeling up to my eyeballs stress-wise. I snap out an attacking phrase instead of pausing for thought.

After months and months of hardly talking about anything at all, here at last was an opening. I wasted that chance. But having said what he did, he couldn't unsay it. Sometimes that works to our advantage don't you find?

He didn't want to talk about it at that point and to be honest neither did I. I was shaken by him finally coming out with something I guess we've both been feeling for quite some time now. Not only that but he'd been drinking quite a bit so things said from that point on would not necessarily reflect the truth of his feelings.

Drinking magnifies the bad stuff and can often end up escalating small grievances into major meltdowns. Something about drinking frees the inner drama queen in us all I guess.

Why don't we talk more? Sometimes I think it's that we feel secure enough that we don't need to so much. A complacency sets in. I could prevaricate as an olympic sport, really I could.

We get scared. Both of us. Mostly the reason we don't talk is because of this. I used to think that it was solely my fear and that I was projecting it onto Trev. Years on I can see that really we are both quite child-like in the emotional sphere. It comforts me in some ways that I am not alone in this.

It's seems strange because in so many ways I trust Trev, and yet in some fundamental way I don't feel safe with him. This is not because of any failing on his part and I know this.

Neither wants to be the one to hurt the other and yet we are neither of us happy.

What to do.

Talk, that's what we have to do.

We put it off for a couple of weeks as he was on the cusp of a trip away. He's home later on today and then will be away again for the next couple of weeks. We have two days together this weekend before his next trip. Once this trip is out of the way he will be home again for the foreseeable future.

Sometimes we have to do the things we are most scared of. For me it is breaking out from this self-imposed protective shell of mine to tell the truth. In order to do that I have to find out what the truth is. This itself scares me.

I am scared of saying the wrong thing. Of causing needless damage and hurt by being careless ... saying things when I'm not entirely sure of my own feelings. Saying things is hard because it's irretrievable. It's a risk.

And there's this. Sometimes I only say things in response to what's said to me. In this way I abdicate my responsibility to be an equal partner in our relationship. I find it hard to put myself and my needs equal to his.

I find it hard to recognise what my own needs are for that matter.

I know at the root of this is a feeling of un-deservedness. And I know that recognising this is only the start point for addressing it. Another process to be gotten under way at some point.

I'm scared of discovering the source of my unhappiness. The nature of it. What if I can do something about it? You see, I can live with this unhappiness ... I'm used to it. I've had a lot of practice. It's safe in a funny sort of way. The status quo. But change, even change for the better is more than a little unsettling.

What if I have to go through a phase of enormous upheaval .... possibly causing deep hurt to someone I love more than I can describe. And what if it doesn't work? Is it worth the risk I wonder.

How many times have we started to break these barriers down only to revert to silence again when it gets too hard? How many false dawns do we endure before concluding that the effort is more than we can bear.

Maybe he's right. That it is all falling apart. That we have spent all these years simply building a house of cards. All facade and no substance. No weight. No depth or ballast to keep us stable. Happy.

Can we build something more sustainable? Does he want to? Do I? If not, what then?

Sometimes we build things up too much. We carry a weight of expectation that far exceeds anything that can be achieved by simply talking.

But we have to anyway.

Remembering Renée

I recollect your last words to me
I wonder if in timelessness
you have time to remember too
to miss those still missing you
to ponder on such earthly concerns
do peaceful hearts gone to rest
feel the faintest echo of an ache

Some days eternity seems so near
separated by only the sheerest
and flimsiest of partitions
a light curtain lifting in the breeze
as if heaven lies not beyond
but just here
the merest step away

I wonder what it's like
how it feels
whether you can see us
each one remembering you
storing your story in our hearts
an ever widening ripple
of being together strong

I re-visit your words sometimes
a trail of treasures leading me on
to an ever deeper understanding
and with it a greater thirst
to know more, break free
take to the air and fly
leave this heavy heart to lie

I am keeping to our promise
holding fast where faith falters
trusting when belief stumbles
that when time ceases for all time
my hopeful heart will have courage
enough to take flight
with my own set of wings